A Kuwaiti-backed medical campaign in the city of Erbil provides prosthetic limbs for Iraqis who were injured during the war against ISIS.
As the dust from the war against ISIS settles across Iraq, many Iraqis are working heal their wounds and rebuild their cities from the ravages of the three-year conflict. For many Iraqis, particularly those who lost their limbs during the conflict, the process of recovery carries with it added challenges. Now, a humanitarian organisation in Erbil, in cooperation with the Government of Kuwait, aims to help those Iraqis who are in need of prosthetic limbs.
Based in the city of Erbil, the services offered by the humanitarian organisation Rounahi are primarily aimed at Iraqis displaced from the city of Mosul as a result of ISIS and the subsequent battle to liberate the city. The programme, which was inaugurated earlier in January, is partially funded by the Kuwaiti Government. In addition to using the relatively-undamaged medical infrastructure in Erbil, the programme, called “Kuwait is by your side”, aims to open new specialist medical centres in the city as well as the city of Mosul itself.
Officials here say that since the inauguration, they have helped 266 Iraqis and are in the process of helping another 60. However, with numbers of Iraqis needing help in the hundreds, there is some concern that not everyone who needs help is getting it.
Indeed, lack of support for those disabled by the conflict is a common theme across Iraq and here in Erbil in particular. Many of the patients here have appealed to the Iraqi Government as well as other humanitarian organisations. However, they were either given the runaround or simply did not receive any responses. The issue is not limited to the civilian population. Many members of the Iraqi Security Forces who lost their limbs in the line of duty against ISIS have also become increasingly vocal over the lack of support they have received.
Like nearly other sector, the Iraqi healthcare sector has suffered immensely over the past three decades and, especially, over the past three years. With reconstruction the main agenda for the Iraqi Government in 2018 and onwards, restoring the medical system and providing assistance to these people, as well as changing societal attitudes towards disabilities, will be vital.